When I was almost sued in a property sale.
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A Filipina married to an American living in Pennsylvania wanted to sell her inherited property located in Cebu City. They found our agency through a common friend in Cebu and the woman’s husband interviewed me about the length of my tenure in the real estate business. I hoped he was satisfied of my answer that we were able to sell five adjacent lots along Ramos Street.
Luckily, the property owners were very helpful in providing the documents I needed to sell their holdings. I received land titles, a tax declaration, a subdivision plan, all tax receipts, and authority to sell. After I received the documents from the seller, we immediately conducted our due diligence:
1. We secured certified true copy of the title and checked for any annotations. In the process, we discovered that they had previously failed a joint venture agreement. We also learned that one of the titles is a road lot, which cannot be sold.
2. We secured a certified copy of the tax declaration and tax clearance.
The discoveries posed significant problems for the success of the sale. How did we overcome them?
a. We found a copy of their canceled joint venture agreement and submitted it to the Register of Deeds to request a cancellation of annotation in the titles;
b. We requested a certified copy of the court order which declared that the road lot was canceled and converted to a regular lot. Since the only portion of the road lot is owned by the seller, we had the lot subdivided of the area owned by my client.
Fortunately, after three months we found a serious buyer who immediately offered earnest money. However, on the day of the payment of the balance, the seller couldn’t find the title of the road lot. We were anxious that the buyer might not follow through with the purchase. With fervent prayers, we completed the transaction as scheduled and we agreed to hold the payment of that lost title until the new title for the property became available.
This is the part where I was almost sued by the buyer. When the seller’s lawyer filed for a petition for the judicial reconstitution of the title, we were promised that the new title would be issued within six months. In reality, the title was issued after two years and this angered both the seller and buyer. The seller wanted to collect the retained payment and the buyer wanted to start with their project.
We explained to the buyer that the unexpected turn of events was beyond our control. We couldn’t pay the court staff to expedite the decision of the judge. Instead, we were told by court personnel to wait. True enough, the decision and finality of the petition came without any bribery.
In the end, the buyer was happy that we were able to transfer all of the titles and tax declarations to him. Now, we await the new building to rise along Ramos Street in Cebu City.
I am proud to say that we closed the deal without bribery and we made both the seller and buyer happy. We are now starting another transaction with the seller worth 430million pesos. I pray hard that we will be the Real Estate Agency in Cebu to close the deal for them.
Written by: Ma. Corazon A. dela Fuente, PRC Licensed Real Estate Broker in Cebu since 1997.
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